This past weekend, I ventured out to Napa Valley, California by myself to meet my long-time friend, Linda Walbridge! We both loved to blog about food and wines and had carefully planned what we wanted to accomplish during my 48 hour visit. This is where we began.
What used to be a horse ranch in the past, these hundred acres of multiple soil types and sun exposure eventually became the Signorello Estates Winery. Ray Signorello Sr. purchased this land on the Silverado Trail in 1977 with the intentions of growing grapes to sell to existing wineries. But in the early 80's they had more Chardonnay grapes than they could handle. They crushed their own grapes creating a fabulous wine. The 5.12 acres of old vines Chardonnay grapes continue to produce a fine, 100% Chardonnay wine.
This main structure was built in the mid 80's and was used for barrel storage, wine tasting and retail sales. Our private tasting was right inside the white French doors in a glass enclosed room. Bryan and Nadalie took us through the wines and artisanal cheeses paired by their on-sight chef.
Our antipasta tasting!
Our first wine was a 2013 Seta, Estate ($70), a blend of 58% Semillon and 42% Sauvignon Blanc-a Bordeaux Blanc if you will. Robert Parker Jr. has given this luscious wine a rating of 94. Paired with a semi-soft cheese, 100% whole goat milk and cream, this wine was shining with layers of melon and citrus! Delicious! The goat gouda is from the Central Coast Creamery in Paso Robles, California.
Our next tasting was a 2013 Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay, Estate ($70), full-bodied 100% "Old Vine" Chardonnay, given rating of 92 by Parker. This wine paired with a Comté cheese from France, was rich, crisp and fruity with a lush mouthfeel. Parker calls it "opulent and pure" and I agree! The cheese is made from unpasteurized cow's milk in the Franche-Comté region of Eastern France. The Montbeliarde cattle are very well taken care of and only fed fresh natural feed.
Our third tasting was a 2012 Syrah, Estate ($70) blended of 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier which was delightfully peppery with a dark cherry fruit taste. This wine is crafted in the Côte-Rotie style of the French appellation. The two grape varietals must be fermented at the same time, a process known as cofermentation. This excellent wine shone beautifully paired with a Idiazabal cheese from the Basque and Navarra regions of Northern Spain. It is a traditional farmhouse hard cheese made from the raw milk of Laxta or Carranza sheep. When you taste it, the burnt caramel and bacon fills your mouth.
|Rated 91, Robert Parker Jr.|
Now to my husband's favorite grape-Cabernet Sauvignon! Our next tasting was a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate ($100) is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. This wine was a beautiful showcase of vanilla and hints of cedar. I tasted the ripe cassis immediately. Robert Parker rated this a 94+ which is phenomenal and well-deserved. The chef paired it with a dry Monterey Jack cheese from the Vella Cheese Company in Sonoma, California. (been there-got the cheese)
The final tasting was a 2012 Padrone Estate ($175) produced in memory of Ray Sr. by his son Ray Jr. It is the utmost expression of this estate. Beautifully crafted of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc, this wine is full-bodied, opulent and is for the very serious Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers. Those looking for the ultimate Cabernet have found it here in Padrone Estate Cabernet.
Paired with an aged white cheddar cheese, "the coffee and lavender rind complements the softly spicy, floral, and herbaceous qualities most notably in the Padrone." The cheese was Barely Buzzed from the Beehive Cheese Company in Utah.